I swear by these whitening strips for brightening up my smile

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If you’ve been following the CDC’s guidelines for the past year or so and wearing a mask, you probably haven’t shown many people your smile. No need for lip gloss! No need to whiten your teeth! But now, if you’re vaccinated and taking off your mask, you may be thinking differently. And you’re not alone — reports have shown that people are trying to look their best for life back out in the open, and teeth-whitening products are flying off the shelves.

For me though, teeth whitening is nothing new. People are quick to assume I’ve always had “good teeth,” but actually, when I was younger, I had to have 11 baby teeth pulled by my doctor. My teeth were not coming out on their own, and I had two rows of teeth (like a shark). A few years later, I needed braces and wore them for seven years. And when the braces came off, I wanted a way to show off my straightened smile, and my dentist suggested Crest Whitening Strips.

Whitening strips were new at the time, but my mom let me try them, and they worked! Since then, I’ve put in the work to take good care of my teeth, using a whitening product at least once a year to brighten them up. (I recently used them before hosting In The Know Live: Kitchen Gadgets! You can see in the pictures below.)

Credit: Ellie Conley for In The Know

I’ve tried professional whitening, bleach gel and trays and tested LED light methods over the years. But to this day, I always go back to the classic Crest Whitening Strips.

Of course, everyone’s situation is different, and I’ve been fortunate enough to have pretty white teeth to begin with, thanks to genetics. But Crest Whitening Strips are more affordable, less messy and less time-consuming than any of the other methods I’ve tried. I also think they work the best and get my teeth the brightest white.

Here’s how they work: You put the strips on your top and bottom teeth, let them sit for a designated period of time (usually 30 minutes), then take them off and repeat for a set amount of days.

Crest offers many variations of its whitening strips. My advice is to start with a gentler method that takes maybe 20 to 30 days. Whitening can cause tooth sensitivity, meaning cold drinks will make your mouth ache, and you’re more likely to experience this with the stronger, quicker stuff. Although, if you have an event coming up that you want to brighten up your smile for, the three and five-day packs could be your solution — just beware.

Crest 3D Whitestrips Classic, 2-Pack, $35

Credit: Crest

I prefer the Crest 3D Whitestrips Classic pack, which comes with 20 strips to use over 20 days. It’s one of the cheaper options, too — you can get a two-pack on Crest’s website for $35. I also pair my strips with a whitening toothpaste and swear by Crest 3D White Glamorous White Toothpaste.

If you’re looking for a safe and easy way to whiten your teeth, give the Crest White Strips a try. You don’t necessarily need to avoid coffee or drink your red wine through a straw. Just keep brushing and give these strips a try.

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